THE jury in the Bijou Nightclub manslaughter trial has been discharged after being unable to reach a verdict in what the judge described as “a fraught and difficult case.”

Ciaran Spencer, 25, of Green Head Drive, Utley, Keighley, was on trial at Bradford Crown Court denying the unlawful killing of James Etherington, 24.

Mr Etherington died from a traumatic brain injury ten days after Spencer ejected him from the club in Chapel Lane, Bingley, in the early hours of November 25, 2017.

The jury were given a majority direction by the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, yesterday afternoon after they sent him a note saying: “After considering the evidence the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision.”

The judge told them that he could accept a majority verdict of at least 10-2 but asked them to strive to reach a unanimous decision.

He sent the panel home until today and they began deliberating again shortly after 10am.

After the jury had been in retirement for eight hours and 41 minutes, they sent the judge a second note saying: “We cannot come to a decision on count 1.”

That was a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Judge Durham Hall told them: “As you know, Mr Foreman, you have to get beyond count 1 before you can even consider count two.”

The judge asked if, given more time, there was any real possibility of them being able to reach a unanimous or majority verdict.

“We don’t believe further deliberations would be helpful,” the foreman told him.

David Brooke QC, for the Crown, and Richard Wright QC, Spencer’s barrister, agreed that the only option was to discharge the jury.

Judge Durham Hall said; “This was a fraught and difficult case.”

He told the jurors: “This is nobody’s fault. This happens. It’s a consequence of having twelve members of society making the decisions.”

That was preferable to “cynical professionals” making the judgements.

Judge Durham Hall told the twelve: “I have no alternative but to discharge you from having any further consideration on this matter.

“You cannot reach a decision despite your best endeavours.”

He thanked the jurors for their “impeccable courtesy, co-operation, excellent time-keeping and good spirits.”

“Your role in this case, whatever happens now, is finished,” Judge Durham Hall stated.

When the jurors had left the courtroom, the judge addressed Spencer and those in the packed public gallery.

“Mr Spencer: to you, to your family, to James’s family, I am sorry. The court and the barristers did their best,” he said.

The court set a date of January 6 for a retrial lasting up to seven days.

Spencer’s unconditional bail was enlarged.